Saturday Night Live wrapped up its 45th season last weekend, beginning a long drought without new episodes until the fall. On Saturday night, NBC will air a repeat of the first SNL At Home episode, which featured guest host Tom Hanks and a performance from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, at 11:30 p.m. ET. The episode was the first of three remotely filmed episodes and originally aired on April 11.
The episode marked SNL's return after more than a month off the air. The show's last new episode shot in New York was the March 7 show featuring Daniel Craig and The Weeknd. SNL planned a three-week break, with John Krasinski and Dua Lipa guest-starring on a March 28 episode. Those plans were scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down all production in New York and Hollywood. In order for SNL to come back, the cast members had to film sketches at home.
Although the Hanks-hosted episode was rough around the edges when compared to the April 25 and May 9 episodes, there were still some highlights. Hanks delivered a hilarious monologue, referencing his status as the "celebrity canary in the coal mine," as both he and wife Rita Wilson were the first Hollywood celebrities to announce their coronavirus diagnoses. Larry David also guest starred as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while Alec Baldwin called in to "Weekend Update" as President Donald Trump. Former cast members Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Bill Hader, John Mulaney, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Fred Armisen, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon appeared in a moving tribute to music producer Hal Willner, who died from complications of COVID-19.
During the "Weekend Update" segment, co-anchor Michael Che paid tribute to his late grandmother, who died from COVID-19 while the show was off the air. Che told Colin Jost that appearing on SNL helped make him feel a little better. They did a joke-swapping segment,where Jost was forced to read a joke about a college professor who used a racial slur. Then, Che revealed his grandmother never watched SNL.
"My grandmother has never seen this show, I just wanted you to do that," Che told Jost at the end of the segment. "She woke up at alike 4 a.m. to pray! You think she was watching Saturday Night Live? That made this night perfect, man, thank you. For 'Weekend Update,' I'm Martha's grandbaby!"
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Che said he was "doing OK, considering" after his grandmother's death. "I'm obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone," the comedian wrote. "But I'm also happy she's not in pain anymore. And I also feel guilty for feeling happy. Basically, the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has losing someone very close and special. I'm not unique, but it's still scary."